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Hardware Thread, New technology - what to buy? in Technical; Originally Posted by GrumbleDook Tell the Deputy they are an idiot and unless the SLT can tell you what they ...
  1. #16

    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Tell the Deputy they are an idiot and unless the SLT can tell you what they want to do with it then you are wasting your time, their time, the students' time and tax payers money.

    They might as well as ISIHAC if they can borrow the infamous laser display board.

    Look at particular needs of the school. If you are working on improving English then some gaming (a la Tim Rylands) can be worked into it, or perhaps a radio station (from Russell Prue), or speak with the folk at Wildern school about a TV studio. Technology for its own sake is pointless, gets broken quickly and will get people into grief when Governors wake up.
    Phooeey! What happened to Learning Without Frontiers...?

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  3. #17
    JPS
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Tell the Deputy they are an idiot and unless the SLT can tell you what they want to do with it then you are wasting your time, their time, the students' time and tax payers money.

    They might as well as ISIHAC if they can borrow the infamous laser display board.

    Look at particular needs of the school. If you are working on improving English then some gaming (a la Tim Rylands) can be worked into it, or perhaps a radio station (from Russell Prue), or speak with the folk at Wildern school about a TV studio. Technology for its own sake is pointless, gets broken quickly and will get people into grief when Governors wake up.
    I think that's probably a tad over the top Tony, for a start I wouldn't dream of calling my DH an idiot, she is actually quite on the ball and is very happy to consult me when she is not sure of something. I have a lot of time for these people, rather than the sorts that pretend to know or in fact know nothing at all about ICT but yet have to be ultimately responsible for it.

    I also dont think it is a waste of my time or taxpayers money actually. What we/I are trying to do is see what else is out there in the IT world that we currently dont know about. I thought a post out to the edugeekers would hit a wide range of people who have no doubt had experience or seen the kind of stuff that is new out there, can be beneficial to the students education and support a teacher whilst they try and deliver the curriculum in the most effective and interesting manner. Whether or not it is seen as a waste of money, we have already been allocated this money as part of BSF and it needs to be spent on updating our IT resources. I am sure that by being involved in this process I can prevent mistakes being made when making these big purchases.

    These will not be hasty purchases, I can assure you (knowing my Head) and it isn't a case of "we have shed loads of money, what cr*p can we spend it on". So far other edugeekers have been very helpful with their suggestions. There is plenty of stuff out there that I certainly wasn't aware of until now.

    Once again thanks guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    Phooeey! What happened to Learning Without Frontiers...?

    Key word ... Learning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JPS View Post
    I think that's probably a tad over the top Tony, for a start I wouldn't dream of calling my DH an idiot, she is actually quite on the ball and is very happy to consult me when she is not sure of something. I have a lot of time for these people, rather than the sorts that pretend to know or in fact know nothing at all about ICT but yet have to be ultimately responsible for it.
    Yep, and I've got a lot of time for them to ... but there is still a struggle to get people to use better language than "cutting edge" or having them try and use tech to capture the attention of folks without stuff to back it up as worthwhile.

    I also don't think it is a waste of my time or taxpayers money actually. What we/I are trying to do is see what else is out there in the IT world that we currently don't know about. I thought a post out to the edugeekers would hit a wide range of people who have no doubt had experience or seen the kind of stuff that is new out there, can be beneficial to the students education and support a teacher whilst they try and deliver the curriculum in the most effective and interesting manner. Whether or not it is seen as a waste of money, we have already been allocated this money as part of BSF and it needs to be spent on updating our IT resources. I am sure that by being involved in this process I can prevent mistakes being made when making these big purchases.
    Read my post ... "unless the SLT can tell you what they want to do with it then you are wasting your time..." meaning that your efforts, as stalwart as they are, will have been wasted on something that has no effect other than to please the SLT's need for something flash. It was not intended to besmirch your good name or efforts, but to point to others creating work for you that does not end up having been worthwhile.

    These will not be hasty purchases, I can assure you (knowing my Head) and it isn't a case of "we have shed loads of money, what cr*p can we spend it on". So far other edugeekers have been very helpful with their suggestions. There is plenty of stuff out there that I certainly wasn't aware of until now.

    Once again thanks guys.
    Ok .. .so what you are asking for is an area of the best, most advanced technology, which will be at the forefront of how tech can be used, either in industry or in schools, some of it might be outside of the normal use and so it should be innovative, radically change the learning that goes on and inspire others to think the same. (and I didn't even step into manglement speak on that one!)

    I go back to my earlier answer.

    Game-based learning. It is not about the hardware, but about how much you have, how it is set up and how you work with it. You could be talking 3D gaming in immersive worlds ... have a chat with ZH about how much of a difference WoW in 3d makes, never mind wrap around screens in flight simulators. At Silverstone Study Centre we have a bank of seats with a full race start feel ... countdown lights in front of you, systems for producing the sounds and smells of the starting grid, Murray Walker on the commentary. 5 minutes of this can stimulate ideas for writing, design, CAD ... the list goes on.

    The Acoustic Pod from Isis is fantastic to build a radio studio into. It is visible to the rest of the room, but separate enough to make it a closed environment to work on the school radio station, editing the music and spoken word from other students. Use this to help create revision podcasts for KS4 exams in History, MFL, Geography, Maths ... the list goes on. Systems such as the radio station from Russell Prue which I mentioned above can be built by yourself, but by having the big man himself come in that can kick start the school (and others) into using it far more than just hardware can. Perhaps working with other podcasts specialists such as Joe Dale can be a way of keeping the engagement going too ... allowing the excitement from this suite to spread to other areas of the school.

    You might want to go further and run a TV studio. Editing suites can go from simple systems using a few laptops through to full offline tools with green screen studios for high-end productions, with video streaming services hanging off the back-end (possibly helping the local feeders schools at the same time). From here your Head can run virtual assemblies to every single class in the school, as well as to parents. Even with low-end, free systems we have had a local primary schools broadcasting to nearly 100 people (aimed at parents / grandparents / community) for an assembling involving some of the pupils. This can then get others in to use the facilities as part of the work in the community.

    Have a chat with the folks working on the Robot Football World Cup to see how you might design your own boards, program your own AI, build the devices and then test them out ... not as much fun as planning for Robot Wars, but more achievable. This can then be linked in with systems and control ... making use of Scratch as a start, perhaps Kodu (links in with games-based learning there ... especially when you get onto the X-Box and trying to do stuff with Kinect) but then getting involved in the Computing at School :: Computing For the Next Generation ... group to develop bigger systems ... a mockup of the building management system perhaps (which then links into a number of vocational courses about hotel management, etc)

    Whilst it is low-tech ... make heavy use of QR codes for your storage and filing.

    And this is only the tip of the iceberg that can be talked about when looking at things, but I stand by the comment that it has to be there for a reason.

    Failing that, get it designed to look like the bridge from the Starship Enterprise. Control systems with New Video of MITís Minority Report Interface: G-Speak | Singularity Hub and make use of slates / iPads as if they are the tablet device in ST.

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    JPS (31st January 2011)

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    @jps - i hope you and your dh were able to go to #BETT2011

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    A Microsoft Surface (expecily the new gen) would be pretty cool.
    Otherwise I would be looking at thin clients for any of the PCs in there - tiny PCs and if you kit out the server right they will fly and people will go ooooo.
    That and super bright LED screens everywhere.

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    JPS (31st January 2011)

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    A large LED wall is always a nice way to display digital signage, I also like the CAVE idea but usually comes at a high investment... these are some of the toys we have to display 3D content:

    KAUST: Visualization beyond the CAVE

    Investment was not as big as the CAVE but still gives visualization capability and a WOW impression.

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    JPS (31st January 2011), vikpaw (31st January 2011)

  12. #23
    JPS
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    @jps - i hope you and your dh were able to go to #BETT2011
    Yeh I did, but on a mission to procure specific items such as digital signage, cashless catering and IWBs. I met with a load of reps which was helpful but I was burnt out by the end. Unfortunately I didnt know before hand that I was gonna be quizzed on 'whats new'. If I had I might have stuck around a bit, however I think I would have enlisted the help of an electric wheelchair type contraption!

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    Have a search on the Guardian website for BETT ... there are a couple of articles prior to BETT which could help and a few post-BETT reviews too. You could also go onto LinkedIn and join the BETT group there to ask the question.

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    vikpaw (31st January 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by JPS View Post
    At the moment ignore the cost, what hardware would you buy that might impress my Head?
    A large, collaberative editing display. Not nearly as difficult or expensive as it sounds. You'll need a decent PC with a multi-head graphics card to drive, say, 6 projectors, all lined up to produce one large display on a wall of your room. You could use a desktop version of Linux capable of utilising muliple mouse pointers (Ubuntu, I think) and run a Windows Terminal Services server on the same machine as a virtual machine. You then have multiple RDP sessions, each controlled by a different keyboard and mouse, all floating around the same large display.

    If you used widescreen projectors this might even be a way to squeeze more users on to one machine - two per projected screen, so this might even wind up being a cheap way to provide computers in a room...

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    How about some of these, extremely impressive and multiple users using these to control stuff on a shared computer would be epic:
    Emotiv - Brain Computer Interface Technology

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